Miller Valley bar owner recounts Molson Coors shooting on 1 year anniversary

NOW: Miller Valley bar owner recounts Molson Coors shooting on 1 year anniversary

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- One year ago, people ran for their lives as a gunman took aim inside the massive Molson Coors plant.

On Friday, Feb. 26, every shift began with a moment of silence as they honored the dead.

Police, grief counselors and even a bar owner, did what they could following the mass shooting. 

Friday night, workers recounted in close circles, the day their lives forever changed. 

"It was a lot of hugging, it was a lot of mixed emotions, people not knowing," said Andrew Peterson, owner of Spitfires on State, a "Cheers" bar in the Miller Valley.

February 26, 2020 brought snow, extreme cold and heartbreak to the Molson Coors campus.

Milwaukee's tactical team rushed in, long guns in hand, but the shooting inside the utility building was over in minutes.

"You open a door and there's a lot of machines and you couldn't hear," said Milwaukee Police Officer James Sommer. 

The Milwaukee police report is hundreds of pages, yet offers no official word why Anthony Ferrill, a longtime electrician at the company, would open fire on coworkers, killing five men.

It's been said the shooting was racially charged. Some who spoke with grief counselors made that known.

The day Molson Coors reopened its doors brought Arnitta Holliman and other therapists to help.

"Did talk to folks that were in the same building and had to run for cover, and again, just the terror and the uncertainty and the shock that they felt," said Holliman, of the Milwaukee Office of Violence Prevention.

Shock spread across Milwaukee, especially to those with a connection to the plant, like Andrew Peterson.

"I just could see there was a level of distraught," Peterson said. "They were concerned for all the friends because you're all leaving in a hurry and you can't communicate."

Evacuated employees trekked six blocks for a warm place to stay.

"Everyone got here," said Peterson. "They left no jackets, no coats, no money and we said we're not worried about that."

Saturday at noon, the family of one of the men who died, Jesus Valle Jr., is remembering him with a public celebration at Our Lady Queen of Peace at 29th and Euclid. 

Share this article: